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9-2-3 is a recruitment agency that specialises in placing high quality candidates into jobs with hours that fit in around the school run.


Case studies and thoughts on the working Mum in today's workplace


Flexible Working - A Future For All

Helen Wright

With flexible working set to become the norm over the next few years, a growing number of employers now embrace this concept and accept that addressing the flexible working gap is a path to attaining a more productive working environment for employees and employer alike.

In a survey of Managers by the Institute of Leadership & Management, 82% think offering flexible working is beneficial to their businesses – with improvements in productivity, commitment and retention.

Figures show there are over 427,000 female professionals looking to return to work following a career break. Price Waterhouse Coopers believe that addressing the career break penalty could deliver gains of up to £1.7 billion to the UK economy alone.  ( 

A number of market leaders, including PwC, Vodafone & JP Morgan, have been looking at ways to encourage women back to work after extended career breaks.  The outcome of one of these projects has been to introduce “Returnship” programmes in various forms, providing “an effective route back to professional roles, with transitional support to upskill and regain professional self-belief”.

At least 76% of women not currently working want to return to work at some stage with a large number of these looking for flexible working in the guise of either reduced/compressed hours or the ability to work from home for at least some of the time. (PwC/Women Returners)

Organisations are beginning to look at how to attract these talented candidates to fill their vacant roles and by offering flexible working to these prospective employees, they can create a positive outcome for both parties:

Here at 9-2-3 we specialise in finding flexible jobs for professional people.  Educating our clients in how offering flexible working will provide benefits for their businesses:

·         According to 76% of businesses questioned for a recent CIPD report, Flexible working improves staff retention

·         Higher Productivity (83% businesses reported higher productivity – Vodafone 2016)

·         Increased Profits (61% saw a rise in profits – Vodafone 2016)

·         Fewer Sick days (A recent survey by Unison showed that sickness reduced from 12% to 2% amongst those that worked flexibly.

We find highly skilled candidates for roles, looking at how flexible working can be provided to meet both the client and candidate needs. We are currently developing a 5 point back to work programme of our own for women returning to work after a career break.  Our programme offers participants the opportunity to take 5 different elements of coaching including: technology, career, confidence, mindfulness and presentation, enabling participants to return to workplace, fully prepared and confident in their ability to kickstart their career again.

In September 2017, a survey was carried out on behalf of 9-2-3, which found that 3 in 4 workers believe we will all be working flexibly within 5 years. The survey also showed that flexibility was the most important factor when selecting a job (along with pay and location – and ahead of the benefits package and career prospects). 

The next time you are looking to recruit, think about how you can make the role flexible and engage a whole group of professionals who are waiting to add value to your company.

To coin a phrase - The future is bright, the future is flexible.


9-2-3 RESEARCH: 1,002 male and female office workers in the UK were questioned (Sept 2017):

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The end of 9 to 5...

Helen Wright

I’ve been to Westminster this week and called for a revolution! I want to see a revolution in the work place, and an end of the 9 to 5.

While launching The 9-2-3 Club at The House of Commons I called on all businesses to advertise their next hire as a flexible one, and called on all candidates to ask about flexible working arrangements in their next interview – not a demand, just a question.

Of course 9-2-3 only works on roles with flexible working arrangements. We believe that flexible working leads to increased productivity, fewer sick days, greater staff retention – and a more motivated and engaged work force. And flexible working needn't mean part-time hours, for some it means working full-time but with compressed hours or home-working. Flexible working is for everyone.

The 9-2-3 Club is all about giving individuals the opportunity to get together and share experiences in an informal setting, and for those who have had a career break, hopefully enable them to gain in confidence before re-entering the workplace. We have more meetings planned in London and the Thames Valley and some really inspirational speakers lined up (keep an eye on for all the details).

While at Westminster I also revealed the findings of a new survey commissioned by 9-2-3. It found the British workplace landscape will be changing substantially over the next 5 years as nearly 3 out of 4 (73%) office workers envisage that working flexibly will become the norm.

Flexible working is here to stay. Let’s start taking action to help it here faster!

As anyone who’s spoken to me will know – I’m passionate about flexible working, and I was thrilled with the support The 9-2-3 Club had at its launch. Representatives from businesses – big and small – along with candidates (those who have had career breaks and those who haven’t) plus others, such as Digital Mums, who like me, are campaigning for a more flexible workplace. The launch wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Victoria Prentis MP, who sponsored the event. She said:  “Having job shared before I became a MP, I am really supportive of any initiative that encourages flexibility in the workplace. It is not just mums and dads who have career breaks – increasingly we are seeing people taking on caring responsibilities for elderly relatives as well. Helping these talented professionals to continue to work is so important.”

I was also delighted that Margot James MP (Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility) came along and spoke passionately about the benefits of flexible working – for both employees, employers and society as a whole.

It’s funny to think that all this started a few years ago, while I was pushing my children on the swings at my local playground. I had been struggling to find any flexible or part-time work, and I looked around and saw I wasn’t alone. The playground was full of talented and experienced professionals all looking for flexible opportunities. And at the same time I realized there were lots of businesses out there struggling to find the talent they needed to help their business thrive and grow.

9-2-3 now has more than a thousand candidates on their books, and we look forward to welcoming many more. Companies of all sizes are also being invited to take part in The 9-2-3 Club, and join in the revolution!


Be Bold For Change!

Helen Wright

This International Women’s Day, we are being asked to help forge a better working world, and #BeBoldForChange.

I’m definitely in!

I founded the recruitment agency “9-2-3” to try and do just that. I want to help enable and empower women in the workplace. Every day I ask businesses to consider flexible work practices. Every day I speak to talented women who feel their experience and expertise is being wasted because there are so few flexible opportunities.

I look around my local playground and see HR professionals, PR execs, marketing gurus, lawyers and accountants – none are working, because they can’t find roles that enable them to spend some time with their family (or at least pay them enough to cover full-time childcare costs!).

So this International Women’s Day I will be working even harder to try and create new flexible opportunities.

I am also looking forward to launching a Career Development Network that will enable women to connect with one another, and be inspired by other women who might be able to help further their ambitions – whether they are women on boards of big businesses, women who are successfully running their own business or women working for progressive companies looking to recruit flexible talent.

I truly believe in flexible working. All the research shows that flexible working leads to increased productivity, fewer sick days and greater staff retention. So this International Women’s Day, I am calling on businesses to Be Bold for Change and embrace flexible working!

07789270183 / HELEN@923JOBS.COM /